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Hardin woman gets 20 years for child's death

By The Associated Press
Published On: Feb 09 2013 11:26:23 AM MST
Court
COLUMBUS, Mont. -

A Hardin woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for causing the death of a 3-year-old foster child by leaving him for hours in a locked car with the windows up on a 93-degree day.
    
KULR-TV reports (http://bit.ly/Y0mo9u) that 50-year-old Lavonna Bird was sentenced Friday in Stillwater County District Court. Judge Blair Jones suspended five years of the sentence.
    
Bird in December pleaded guilty to negligent homicide for the August 2011 death of Jaren Blacksmith.
    
Prosecutors say the boy tried to escape, but the windows were rolled up and the child locks were activated. He died of hyperthermia. The car was parked outside Bird's home.
    
An autopsy also found several bruises on the boy.